Pakistan’s government has recently put more pressure on the millions of Afghans living in the country for decades to go home apparently without any excuses.
The Afghan governments and people have been facing the refugee problems as millions of our people have been living in the neighboring, regional and other countries across the world. They take refuge for different reasons which the security issue is known to be at the top followed by joblessness etc.
Pakistan has been hosting the most Afghan refugees [more than three million according to the official data] followed by Iran with some two million. The two neighboring countries had used the refugees as part of their political goals to pressure Afghan governments in the past four decades.
But the recent decision of Pakistani authorities seems to be unprecedented. The statesmen in Islamabad have asked Afghans to leave the country, leaving no condition, which has added another headache for them as well as the Kabul administration to dozens of previous ones.
Unofficial reports and those who come from Pakistan, say that hundreds of people cross the Durand Line and come home every day. These people have to leave all their assets behind because they are not given the chance to sell them or bring them home.
Considering several problems that Afghan government is trying encounter, this is another and a big problem. The government is not able to welcome hundreds of thousands of people and provide them with essentials because they all enter the country almost at a single time.
The United Nations refugee program reportedly donates some cash to the returnees, but it is not enough for them to resume a comfort life at home.
Pakistan should realize that the influx of the returnees to a country with a poor economy makes several problems that neither the government nor the returnees can deal. The Afghans who live in Pakistan are the very poor people who try to make only the daily livelihood for their families. They are not part of what is called “terrorism” and “threat” to the security.
Afghans with no exaggeration have played an important role in the construction and development of Pakistan. For example; Peshawar which was said to be a ‘dry desert’, turned to a city and center of business and industry by the hardworking of Afghans who were employed for a tiny payment.
The international community who is partner of both Afghanistan and Pakistan is also requested not to be a viewer, and ask Islamabad to abandon pressuring Afghan refugees. They should be given the chance to return home voluntarily by helping Afghan government to help them, not terrorism to kill them.